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Thed Björk: ‘This is a big event for Volvo’

Polestar Cyan Racing’s Thed Björk admits that there is extra pressure for him and the team in this weekend’s World Touring Car Championship races in Shanghai, with the event effectively being a ‘home’ race for the manufacturer.

Volvo, who in 2015 bought Polestar to become its performance car division, are themselves owned by China-based Geely Automotive, who took over the Swedish brand in 2010.

With no Swedish race on the WTCC calendar, it effectively makes the races in China the ‘home’ race for the Polestar Volvo team.

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Björk is under no illusions that there will be extra pressure this weekend, even though he and the team are heading to a circuit where they have previous experience, having taken part in a one-off outing in 2013.

“This is a big event for Volvo and Geely,” said Björk. “It feels like our home track so obviously it’s very important. We have some very important guests coming and hopefully it can be our best race of the year.

“I have a good feeling heading to a track where I have raced at recently and it is going to be interesting to see what effect that will have on our results.

“We have made some progress over the last races and I think we are in for a strong showing.”

Björk will once again be joined by Fredrik Ekblom in the second Volvo S60, having recently been partnered by fellow Swede Robert Dahlgren and, in Japan, Argentine Néstor Girolami.

“Fredrik is so motivated to come back after letting some races go to the other drivers,” added Björk. “He’s really motivated and it will be good for the team to get him back and to see what he has been learning during testing. It feels like we’re back together again and together we’ll push to do the best we can.

“It feels good to be back in Shanghai. It’s a track I know from before so I hope this will make a bit of difference for the result because we can get a good set-up but faster.”

Björk is currently 12th overall in the drivers’ championship standings, 20 points ahead of 13th-placed Ekblom.

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